LGBT Activists Target Mark Takano on Civil Rights

Queer Nation and a bunch more of us demand Comprehensive Federal Civil Rights Legislation 

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 3.17.36 PMNew York, NY (Aug. 11, 2014) – In its ongoing effort to pressure Congressional Democrats to advance comprehensive federal civil rights legislation that will give lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans the same rights and protections that all other Americans have, Queer Nation is targeting Rep. Mark Takano in a social media campaign titled “Which Side of Your Mouth Should We Listen To?”

Takano, who is gay, supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which only bars employment discrimination against LGBT people and has a sweeping religious exemption that would let nearly 200,000 religiously affiliated employers fire or deny jobs to LGBT Americans.

Many national and state LGBT groups, including the community’s largest legal organizations, have dumped ENDA over its religious exemption.

Takano said that “[W]e should be doing all we can” to address “bigotry and discrimination” and he said that “comprehensive immigration reform” is among his “top priorities” in recent statements.

“We agree with Mark Takano on the need for comprehensive immigration reform and for an end to discrimination, but why doesn’t he see that LGBT Americans need comprehensive legislation, not ENDA,” said Ken Kidd, a Queer Nation member. “Mark Takano made history as the first LGBT person of color in Congress. He can make history again by doing all he can for comprehensive federal civil rights legislation.”

Kidd continued “We know that LGBT Americans are equal in every way. Mr. Takano, can you say that you do? It’s a simple question and the actions that we see you take will answer it.”

In a July 21 statement, Takano said, “Bigotry and discrimination do not belong in our nation, and we should be doing all we can to ensure that every American receives a basic standard of fairness and is treated with the respect they deserve.”

In a December 5 statement, Takano said, “Comprehensive immigration reform is one of the top priorities for the people of the Inland Empire, and I call on Speaker Boehner to do what’s right and schedule a vote to keep millions of families together.”

Queer Nation’s campaign, which started two weeks ago, earlier targeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has since endorsed comprehensive federal civil rights legislation for LGBT Americans. Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Mike Michaud, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. David Cicilline, and Rep. Jared Polis, all of whom are gay, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is bisexual, were also targeted. The campaign has received just nearly 52,000 views on Facebook. It is also being distributed on Twitter and other social media networks.

Queer Nation demands a comprehensive civil rights law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, credit, public accommodations, and federally funded programs.

Queer Nation is a direct action group dedicated to ending discrimination, violence, and repression against the LGBT community.


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